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UK airport staff plan Christmas walkout and join strike wave

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LONDON — Britain’s Conservative government on Wednesday threatened “tough” action to curb the strikes, as airport passport officers became the latest public sector workers to announce December walkouts.

The Public and Commercial Services Union said its members at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff airports would strike for eight days between December 23 and 31, one of the busiest times of the year for international travel.

Labor unrest has spread to public and private sector workplaces as employees seek to raise their wages to cope with inflation that has reached 11.1%, driven by soaring oil prices. energy and food.

Railway staff and postal workers are engaged in a series of 24- or 48-hour walkouts. British nurses are due to strike on December 15. Paramedics and dispatchers plan to go out on December 21 and 28.

The government says public sector workers deserve raises, but double-digit raises are unaffordable.

He has since 2019 promised to pass legislation requiring rail companies to maintain minimum service levels during strikes, although the bill has been stalled in parliament.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday he was considering “new tougher laws”.

“If union leaders continue to be unreasonable, it is my duty to take action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the British public,” Sunak told the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman, Max Blain, said government officials were discussing new powers, but he would not say what they were considering.

Frances O’Grady, leader of the Trades Union Congress, a trade union umbrella group, said that “public sector workers would like to be able to provide minimum levels of service. But 12 years of Conservative cuts and mismanagement have let our public services crumble.

“Rather than trying cheap political stunts, the government should get around the table and negotiate with the unions over wages,” she said.

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ABC News

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